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Access your servers with GoGrid’s new Console service

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 by

At GoGrid we are always looking for ways to improve our product and add value for our customers. We have recently released some new services built on our new Software-Defined Networking (SDN) architecture that customers are already adopting: the Dynamic Load Balancer and Firewall Service. We have recently released a Console access feature on our management console for all our customers.

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The new console service allows customers to directly access their cloud servers through the management console without using a third party client. Customers have been asking for this feature as it allows for emergency access in the case where they have locked themselves out with a bad host firewall configuration or if they need to do further diagnostics. Accessing the service is easy.

  1. First, login to the GoGrid management console.
  2. (more…) «Access your servers with GoGrid’s new Console service»

Software Defined Networking on the Edge

Thursday, March 14th, 2013 by

One of the recent trends in technology is the movement toward software-defined networks (SDN). With SDN, networking is no longer tied to a specific proprietary device but rather integrated via software. GoGrid has adopted this software defined networking architecture for its new product offerings starting with Dynamic Load Balancers and now with our new Firewall Service.

SDN typically means that the control plane is separated from the forwarding plane and is centralized. This setup is easier to manage and enables a more distributed system. In addition, management of the network is typically programmatic with SDN. In GoGrid’s architecture, for example, management is centralized while the activities are distributed. This design allows for greater resiliency and self-healing capabilities, meaning there’s always a way to return a failed distributed node to its previously stable state. We also enable access to these services via our management console and a public RESTful API.

Although most people think of SDN as it applies to the core (switches and routers), GoGrid’s strategy has been to start at the edge and then work toward the core. Dynamic Load Balancers and the Firewall Service are considered to be on the network edge. However, other services closer to the core, such as Private Network Automation (PNA), have adopted this architecture as well. Details about the Dynamic Load Balancer are explained in this previous blog post.

Firewall Service

GoGrid is introducing a new Firewall Service designed to be self-healing and available to all customers in all our data centers. Customers can deploy this service through the management console or API. Having a Firewall Service available to all our customers is an important step in further securing infrastructure in the cloud. Although GoGrid has secured its data centers and has built-in security measures to protect our customers’ infrastructure, our customers want greater granular control of port access for their individual servers. Our new Firewall Service is designed to meet and exceed those needs by making it easy to set up security wherever Cloud Servers are located.

This service comes with several key features: (more…) «Software Defined Networking on the Edge»

High Availability with Dynamic Load Balancers

Monday, February 4th, 2013 by

Building out a highly available website means that it is fault-tolerant and reliable. A best practice is to put your web servers behind a load balancer not only to distribute load, but also to mitigate the risk of an end user accessing a failing web server. However, traditional load balancing funnels traffic into a single-tenant environment—a single point of failure. A better practice is to have a distributed load balancer that takes advantage of the features of the cloud and increases the fault-tolerance abilities on the load balancer. GoGrid’s Dynamic Load Balancer service is designed around a software-defined networking (SDN) architecture that turns the data center into one big load balancer.

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GoGrid’s Dynamic Load Balancer offers many features, but one of its core features is high availability (HA). It is HA in two ways.

First, on the real server side, deploying multiple clones of your real servers is a standard load-balancing practice. That way, if one of your servers goes down, the load balancer will use the remaining servers in the pool to continue to serve up content. In addition, each GoGrid cloud server that you deploy as a web server (in the real server pool) is most likely on a different physical node. This setup provides additional protection in the case of hardware failure.

Second, on the Dynamic Load Balancer side, the load balancers are designed to be self-healing. In case of a hardware failure, Dynamic Load Balancing is designed to immediately recover to a functioning node. The Virtual IP address of the Dynamic Load Balancer (the VIP) is maintained as well as all the configurations, with all the changes happening on the back end. This approach ensures the Dynamic Load Balancer will continue to function with minimal interruption, preventing the Dynamic Load Balancer from being a single point of failure. Because the load balancer is the public-facing side of a web server, whenever it goes down the website goes down. Having a self-healing load balancer therefore makes the web application more resilient.

Users with websites or applications that need to always be available would benefit from including GoGrid’s Dynamic Load Balancing in their infrastructure. The load balancer is important for ensuring the public side of a service is always available; however, including easily scalable cloud servers, the ability to store images of those servers in persistent storage, and the option to replicate infrastructure between data centers with CloudLink are all important elements of a successful HA setup.

(more…) «High Availability with Dynamic Load Balancers»

Leverage Automation for your Private Network

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 by

GoGrid has recently released some new features that improve on the customer experience using our private network.  Private Network Automation (PNA) is currently available in all our data centers. As of this most recent release, these new features will be exposed if you enable PNA by contacting support:

  • All servers will have a private IP assigned upon creation (both virtual and dedicated)
  • Any private IPs that are used will be marked as assigned on the portal
  • Cloud Storage no longer requires static routes. It is now accessible via your favorite protocol (Samba, SCP, etc.)

The assignment of private IPs happen automatically at the time a new server is deployed. GoGrid has enabled this for all new customers. If you are an existing customer, this is feature IS NOT enabled in data centers where you have servers deployed. You will need to file a support ticket to request this feature. Note that once enabled, this will be active for all new servers only – existing servers will keep their existing settings.

As you can see from the screenshot below, once you create the server, you will have a public IP and a private IP assigned. Note that this feature is enabled for both virtual and dedicated servers.

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This is also visible in the Networking tab so that you can monitor private IPs that have been assigned from your block.

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(more…) «Leverage Automation for your Private Network»

Create a Basho Riak Cluster on GoGrid

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by

Basho is a GoGrid partner and responsible for the open-source Riak project. If you are not familiar with Riak, it is a well regarded open-source distributed database. It was built off of the Dynamo concept so it is often compared to Cassandra and Amazon Dynamo DB.

Riak is used as a fast, fault-tolerant distributed database. Companies like Mozilla use it for storing and analyzing beta testing results. Mozilla needed a solution to help improve the user experience and that would allow them to store large amounts of data very quickly. Another example of a company using Riak is Bump which uses Riak to scale and manage massive amounts of data sent between it’s millions of users. Riak is used to store elements of past user conversations so that communication history is readily accessible to users.

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Basho Riak version 1.1.4 is now available as a GoGrid Community Server Image (CGSI). You can find it when you launch a virtual machine and search for “Riak”. This image is available in all our data centers. This CGSI contains the open source version so support is only available via the community site and will not have all the features present in the Enterprise version. However, you can use this image to either run a proof of concept (POC) of Riak to see if it will meet your needs or to run a small cluster. These will run on GoGrid’s high performance VMs which have been shown to have significant performance advantages over other cloud implementations.

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Why is GoGrid faster?

(more…) «Create a Basho Riak Cluster on GoGrid»